Dog bitten in the face by 15ft adder as heatwave sparks vet warning over snakes

A mum has described the “horrible” moment her family pup was bitten on the face by a 15ft long snake.

A surge in recent snake bites has prompted vets to warn Brits to watch out for adders in the looming heatwave.

Catherine Thomas, 43, from Great Ayton, North Yorkshire, was walking her dog, Harry, at Cod Beck on Monday evening when she noticed the enormous creature in the bushes.

Keen to get away before it snapped at Harry, the couple started walking back to the car,.

But they realised something was wrong when the one-year-old Cocker Spaniel began falling asleep.

By the time they were home, his face had begun to swell and Catherine realised he had been bitten as she noticed fang marks on Harry’s lips.

Now Catherine has shared her story to raise awareness as vets warned dog owners to watch out for snakes on the loose due to the rising temperatures.

Catherine told The Mirror : “Harry ran over to a tree and was stood looking at it, but as I got closer I could see this massive snake straight away.

“My husband said ‘God I’ve never seen a snake that big before in real life’.

“He was taking photos and ‘I was saying come on it might bite the dog’.

“When we got back in the car and harry kept falling asleep which I thought was strange because that’s not like him.

“When we got home and I all the side of his face was swollen I started panic and said ‘that snake has bitten him’.

“His neck was swelling up like a ball, it was all squidgy it was horrible.

“With it being on his face and neck it could have blocked his airways I knew I had to take him to the vets straight away.

“We were all worried sick about him I didn’t sleep all night.”

After rushing him to the emergency vet, Harry was given an antivenom treatment and kept on a drip for two days.

Vets told Catherine that they had already had to use antivenom on another dog just the day before, and that had Harry been an old or very young dog, he could have died in the attack.

The mum-of-three said: “I’ve always known there was snakes in the UK but I’ve never had a problem with them until now.

“The amount of people that have told me they never knew there was even snakes in the UK is unbelievable.

“A lot of other people have got in touch to tell me their dog has also been bitten by a snake.

“If I had seen the warnings from vets I would never have taken him there, it’s the heat that is bringing them out and they’re really bad this year because its so hot.”

Vets4Pets Northallerton is a vet surgery which issued a warning on its social media pages raising awareness about the issue at the beauty spot in the North Yorkshire Moors.

In a statement on Facebook they wrote: “For anyone who walks their dogs at Cod Beck, Osmotherley or owns dogs in the area.

“Adders have been spotted in the area and some dog owners have unfortunately already witnessed first hand what damage these snake bites can do to a dog.

“Please be vigilant when walking your pooches around this area and if you suspect your dog has been bitten get them seen by a vet ASAP.”

But Catherine, who works as a supervisor at Middlesbrough College, has also raised fears for children as she highlighted the beauty spot is popular among families and youngsters.

She said: “We go there all the time, we have always gone there as kids and I took my kids there for picnics when they were younger.

“It was where people have picnics along the river where he got bit.

“There’s no signage or anything about it and there’s loads of kids playing there, these snakes could easily bite a kid.”

Catherine thanked the “incredible” work of the emergency vets – but said the ordeal had cost them ¬£2,300 as she explained Harry was recovering well at home.